Christine Lelond Your Home Expert

(306) 230-5220


As you probably know, it's easy to lower the costs of a renovation. Just hire an inexpensive, fly-by-night contractor — and hope for the best!


Chances are, you won't want to take that risk. So how do you ensure you get quality work while keeping your budget in check?


Here are some tips:


• Get estimates from at least three contractors. Often prices can vary widely, even amongst contractors with similar reputations and experience.


• Narrow the project focus. If you're getting a bathroom renovated, for example, decide whether you need the contractor to paint the new walls. Can you do that yourself?


• Shop around for the building materials. Yes, contractors often have access to wholesale prices. Still, you might be able to find a bathtub and vanity at a lower cost or at least avoid any markup the contractor may charge.


•Negotiate. Sometimes a contractor is willing to lower the price for concessions, such as quick payments or more time to complete the job.


• Schedule the renovation during a low-demand season. For example, deck contractors charge more in the spring than the fall. It's supply and demand. More people want their decks done in the spring.


Keep in mind that spending a little more for a skilled and reputable contractor can save you money in the long run. The renovation will have fewer, if any, "issues" (that may require an expensive fix) and will last longer.

Read full post

 
Fewer Saskatoon homes were listed in August even as sales remained stable compared to the same month of 2018, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported Thursday.
 

City listings fell four per cent to 724, down from last August’s 757, while the month’s 325 sales were almost on par with last year’s 329 — the same number sold in 2017, as well. Year-to-date, listings are down three per cent to 5,676 (from 5,873) while sales have risen six per cent to 2,551 (from 2,410).


Active listings in the city are down five percent to 1,916 from 2,019 at the same time last year.


“It’s always a good thing, especially in the time we’re in, when listings are declining — and they have been the last three years. If you want to see prices remain stable or even go up slightly, you have to see less supply,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR.


“Consumers are aware of the market and if they’re not serious about buying or selling, you’ll see fewer of them just testing the market. When the market is moving upward, and a bit hot, you’ll see people kicking the tires and consider selling. With prices remaining stable and even down slightly over the last few years, you have the serious sellers because they need to make a move.”


Slightly lower prices likely contributed to August’s dollar volume of $105 million, down four per cent from the previous year’s $109 million. The average sales price came in at $323,024, down three per cent from last August’s $331,374. Year-to-date, however, dollar volume is up five per cent to $843 million from $805.5 million on stronger sales.

The Saskatoon region, including communities such as Warman, Dalmeny and Martensville, saw 237 listings in August, down 15 per cent from 280, while sales were down 13 per cent to 93 from 107. However, the average sales price rose eight per cent to $294,237.


“The bump in the average price is a bit of an indicator that more higher-end properties are moving, which is a positive at the end of the day,” said Yochim. Year-to-date, the region has seen 2,195 homes hit the market, down three per cent from 2,255, and 679 sales, a five per cent drop from last year’s 712. The average price is down three per cent to $294,369, and active listings are down five per cent to 1,158 from 1,218.


Media Release: September 2019 Jason Yochim, Chief Executive Officer, Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “In any market, there are people who want and need to buy a home. The important thing is to have good advice, to price to the market in their neighbourhood based on the condition of their home, conscious of the competition they’re against. This is so fundamental. Price is everything,” said Yochim. “No homeowner wants to sit on the market and have 40 showings and multiple open houses.”


In Saskatoon and region combined, August listings fell nine per cent to 1,051 from 1,155; sales were down five per cent to 437 from 461; and the dollar volume was down eight per cent to $138.6 million from $151.5 million. Year-to-date, listings are down three per cent to 8,774 from 9,055; sales are up three per cent to 3,403 from 3,304; and the dollar volume is up one per cent to $1.1 billion.    ~ September 2019 SRAR News Release 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
Read full post


If it’s been a while since you last moved, you might be wondering how much you'll need to spend on your next home. That's an important question to answer, even if you're just at the "thinking about it" stage and haven't decided whether or not you'll look for a new property.


After all, knowing your budget might influence your decision.


How should you determine your budget?


The first step is to calculate the maximum you can spend. This involves adding the money you'll get from the sale of your current property after repaying your outstanding mortgage, to any other funds you have available to invest plus the maximum amount of mortgage you qualify to receive.


Of course, just because you may qualify for a large mortgage doesn't mean you want those bigger payments. So, the second step is to think about your needs. What features are a must in your next home? For example, you might want four bedrooms and anything less would be a deal-breaker.


Make a "must-have list". That list can by used to find a baseline of properties on the market — and then find their average asking price. This will give you an idea of what it would cost to find a home that meets your must-have list.


The third step is to go beyond needs and consider the features you want. These might not be deal-breakers, but you'd sure love to have them in your next home. They could be a large deck, a location in a desirable neighbourhood, a big country kitchen, etc.


Ask yourself how much you would be willing to pay for those desirable features. $20,000? $50,000?


Once you've gone through these steps, you'll have the information you need to match your needs and wants to what's available on the market — and you’ll know how much you might expect to pay for your next home.

Read full post



Imagine your coffee maker switching on by itself, staying on for hours, overheating and becoming a fire hazard. That's not science fiction. As more and more appliances incorporate WIFI, the opportunities for hackers to play havoc with your home gadgets increase.


How do you prevent that from happening? Here are some safety tips:


• If your gadget uses a password to access the settings, change that password frequently. Ideally, change it once every 3 months.


• Some gadgets, such as alarm systems, come with their own connection to the internet. Learn how to turn that connection off if it becomes necessary to do so.


• Don't leave an internet-connected appliance or other gadget on constantly unless it’s necessary. For example, you don't need your home speaker system connected to your digital music providers all the time.


• Baby monitors with video are a common target for hackers. Use a password unique to that device and change it often. Never leave the monitor on when not in use.


• Never share passwords with anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. Most home WIFI systems have a "guest" feature with a separate password and limited access. Use it.


In this age of internet connectivity — from coffee makers to stereos and even washing machines — it's smart to play it safe. Know what's connected and protect yourself.

Read full post


Hot weather and summer holidays brought a slight cooling to Saskatoon and region’s housing market, as sales and total dollar volume fell by 9.8 and 9.4 per cent respectively from last July.


Multiple Listing Service® (MLS) sales totaled 481, down from 533, while listings rose a marginal 0.4 per cent to 1,140. Dollar volume fell to $154.7 million from last year’s $170.7 million, reported the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR).


“Typically, people think summer will always be busy, but spring is the busiest market,” said SRAR CEO Jason Yochim. “It tapers off a bit in summer. Winter weather can be brutal, and people take advantage of summer when it’s here.”


Still, year-to-date numbers remain up over 2018. Sales rose 4.4 per cent to 2,968 from 2,843, while dollar volume is up 2.8 per cent to $964.7 million from $938.7 million. Listings so far this year are down 2.2 per cent, to 7,724 from 7,900; and well down from 2017’s 8,692.


In the city of Saskatoon, July sales were exactly on par with last year’s 390 transactions and well up from 310 in 2017. Dollar volume fell 1.7 per cent to $129.4 million, while listings rose 5.5 per cent to 748 from 709.


Year-to-date, and largely due to a strong spring market, the city’s dollar volume is up six per cent to $739 million from $696.4 million last year. Sales increased seven per cent to 2,228 from 2,081 and listings fell three per cent to 4,952 from 5,116.


Active listings in Saskatoon are down 5.7 per cent to 1,932 from 2,048 last year, while the region’s listings are down 0.7 per cent to 1,213 from 1,221.


In July, the city’s sales-to-listings ratio reached 52 per cent, which is considered a balanced market.


“Inventory levels are still declining, and that’s a good sign,” Yochim said. “The slight decline over the last three years helps us maintain a balanced market.” The city’s average price slipped 1.7 per cent to $331,780 in July. Year-to-date the price has fallen one per cent to $331,649.


Media Release: August 2019 Jason Yochim, Chief Executive Officer, Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “It’s good to see in the city that while the average price dropped in 2017 and 2018, we’re very close to those values, so it’s levelled a bit,” Yochim said. “Overall, it’s positive; it’s stable. We’ve seen some good growth in Saskatoon in the last quarter. Our sales numbers year-to-date are the highest in three years.”


The surrounding region saw less-robust interest from buyers. July sales dropped nearly 40 per cent to 69 sales from last year’s 114, and dollar volume fell 35 per cent to $21.5 million from $33 million. Listings were down 3.3 per cent to 291 from 301.


However, the region’s average sales price rose 7.5 per cent to $311,998 in July, up from last year’s $290,322. To date, the price is down 5.2 per cent to $294,389.  ~ August 2019 SRAR News Release 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
Read full post



When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.


How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:


• Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged homes have been shown to sell for up to 5% more than comparable unstaged properties.


• Price. Set the right asking price. That’s crucial. If it's too low, you'll attract only deal-hunters — and you might end up getting less than you should. If the asking price is too high, however, you'll discourage those buyers who might otherwise be interested and willing to make a good offer. Be careful with pricing!  


• Promotion. There may be qualified buyers out there who would be eager to see your property. But, they need to find out about your listing and the great features of your home first! Reaching these buyers requires more than merely profiling the listing on the MLS. Homes that sell for top dollar often have strong marketing — directed to the right buyers.


• Proposal. Once an offer comes in, there may be an opportunity to negotiate with the buyer to maximize the final price you get. This requires deep knowledge of the local market as well as street-smart negotiation skills. If done effectively, these negotiations can help put more money in your pocket.


These four Ps are easy to remember, but sometimes not so easy to implement! That's why working with a great real estate agent is so important. Contact me to get the conversation started.

Read full post



Here's a surprising statistic. Less than 30% of window replacements are the result of the old windows being worn, broken or otherwise in need of replacement.


Clearly, there are other good reasons to consider new windows!


One of the most popular motivations is cosmetic. Brand new windows have a huge impact on the overall look of a home, both on the inside and the outside. New windows can improve curb appeal — an important element when you sell a home. From the inside, new windows can dramatically improve the look of a room.  


Another reason to replace windows is to address energy costs. Modern windows are packed with technologies that lower heating/cooling bills. From low-e/argon to special spacer bars to high-insulating construction, these technologies can provide savings you'll notice, especially if you're replacing very old windows.


A third reason is window style and characteristics. Simply put, you may not like your current windows! You may want more glass and less frame to enhance your view. Maybe your windows pull up (vertical sliders) when you'd rather have them open like a door (casements). Perhaps you'd like fancy blinds in-between the panes of glass. Replacing windows lets you get exactly the look and features you want.


Will new windows boost the resale value of your home? They might, at least a little. But there's one thing for certain: upgraded windows definitely make your home look more appealing to buyers.

Read full post


The stronger residential housing market that began in March continued into June, as Saskatoon Realtors® sold 372 homes for a dollar volume of just under $126 million, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported Friday.


Sales were up six per cent from last June’s 350, while the combined value rose nine per cent from $116 million.


Buyers also had fewer listings to choose from, as 784 units were added to the city’s market, down 10 per cent from last year’s 871 and well down from the previous year’s 949.


“Fewer listings and a renewed interest from first-time home buyers have helped support the Saskatoon market,” said SRAR CEO Jason Yochim. “We’re in a fairly balanced market, as demonstrated by a sales-to-listing ratio of 47 per cent.”


A buyer’s market is indicated by a ratio of under 40 per cent, while a seller’s market ratio begins at 60 per cent.


Year-to-date, local agents have listed 4,206 homes, down five per cent from last year’s 4,407 and also down from 2017’s 5,004. In that time, 1,840 homes have sold, up nine per cent from 2018’s 1,691. The dollar volume rose eight per cent to $610 million from $564.7 million.


Similar numbers were posted in Saskatoon and region, which includes neighbouring towns and cities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny. Listings fell five per cent to 1,232 in June from 1,291 in the same month of 2018, while sales were up three per cent to 490 from 474. Dollar volume was up seven per cent to $169.5 million from $157.8 million.


Year-to-date, Saskatoon and region have seen 6,586 homes listed, down three per cent from 6,765, and sales of 2,489, up eight per cent from 2,310, for a value of $810 million. That number is up six per cent from last year’s $768 million.


In the region alone, 96 homes sold last month, down seven per cent from the previous June’s 103, although year-to-date sales are up five per cent to 517, up from 491. Dollar volume was down one per cent to $31 million from $31.3 million. Listings were up 10 per cent in June to 325 but were almost even year-to-date at 1,668.


The average sales price rose six per cent in Saskatoon and region to $323,291 in June, up from $304,449. However, the year-to-date average price remains down seven per cent at $292,039.


“I think we’re seeing a renewed confidence in the market, while prices are coming down in some categories,” Yochim said. “There may also be some pent-up demand. Prudent buyers are sensing that this is the time to buy in this market.”


SRAR, which encompasses Prince Albert, the Battlefords and other north-central communities under its reporting umbrella, reported both lower sales and listings in those markets. Source: July 2019 SRAR News Release 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
Read full post



Do you have only a few weeks to search for your next dream home? Don't panic. There are things you can do to find the perfect (or, at least, almost perfect) property — without getting too stressed out!


Consider these tips:


• Pre-arrange your mortgage. You want to be able to make a good offer on a home right away, without worrying about financing. So, talk to your mortgage advisor or lender about getting a mortgage preapproval. Sellers will take your offer more seriously if you have financing in hand.


• Decide what you want. What type of home are you looking for? What type of neighbourhood do you want to live in? The narrower your focus, the less time you’ll waste looking at properties that don’t fit your needs. 


• Be open to possibilities. There are probably terrific homes on the market — right now — that are close to what you're looking for. So be prepared to consider properties that are less-than-perfect. Remember, what a home lacks today may be remedied with a renovation later on.


• Be flexible with your schedule. When you see a home you like, schedule a viewing immediately, even if it's at an inconvenient day/time, such as a weekday after work. Finding a great home, quickly, is worth some inconvenience.


• Get alerted to new listings. As they say, the early-bird gets the worm. So arrange to be alerted to new listings the moment they come on the market. That way, you can see these properties right away.


Want more tips on finding a home, quickly? Give me a call.

Read full post



If you're thinking about buying a new home, you may be considering purchasing in a new development.


How does that compare to purchasing a resale property?


Buying a newly-built home has some advantages. Depending on the development, you may have leeway in the style of the home and the lot you choose. Also, when the home is built, you'll be moving into a place where everything is brand new!


On the downside, however, you may be forced to make a decision based purely on marketing brochures and floor plans. Unless there's a model home just like the one you want, you'll be buying sight unseen. Also, there may be unpredictable construction delays — an unpleasant experience if you've already sold your current property.


Of course, buying a resale home may also have a downside. For example, the house might need work, such as a new roof. What you see is pretty much what you get. And, that’s true for the floor plan too. You can't ask for the living room to be five feet wider, unless you decide to renovate.


On the other hand, a big advantage of a resale home is moving into a neighbourhood that is already there for you to see and explore. Unlike in a new development, you can get a very clear idea of what it’s going to be like to live there.


Plus, you get to see the house too!


Regardless of which way you go, I can help you make the best decision and find the home that's perfect for you. Call today.

Read full post


Sales rise 16 per cent from same month of last year Saskatoon


A hot, dry May brought a warmer market for Saskatoon home sellers, as sales rose 16 per cent over the same month of 2018.


City sales came in at 422 units, up from 363 last May and 420 the year before, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported Monday. Sales are also up 10 per cent year-to-date at 1,469, up from 1,342 and 1,450 in the last two years.


“Sales have rebounded significantly this year, in large part due to an increase in condo sales,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “Condo sales are up almost 21 per cent over a year ago. Prices have been coming down, and they are very affordable compared to most housing types.”


Year-to-date, 449 condos have sold, as compared to 372 last year. Over the same period, single family home sales rose six per cent to 1,292, up from 1,215 last year. In May, single family home sales were up 13 per cent from last May.


As sales rose, unit listings fell three per cent to 911 in May, down from 942 in 2018 and 1,031 the previous year. Year-to-date listings are also down three per cent; so far, 3,422 homes have been listed to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as compared to 3,536 last year and 4,055 in 2017. T


he higher sales resulted in a 17 per cent dollar volume increase over last May to $140.7 million, up from $120.5 million. That’s despite a two per cent drop in the average selling price, which fell to $329,595 from $334,651.


“I suspect first-time home buyers have been very active this spring based on the condo sales,” Yochim said. “When lower-priced homes sell, it has a downward effect on the average price.”


In Saskatoon and region, including communities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, sales rose 14 per cent in May to a three-year high of 561 units. Listings fell seven per cent to 1,386, down from 1,485 and 1,553 in the previous two years. Dollar volume rose 12 per cent to $181.3 million from $162.3 million last year. Yochim said, “The sales to listing ratio was 46 per cent in May, which is approaching a balanced market.


”In the surrounding region excluding the city, dollar volume was down 13 per cent to $31.5 million from $36.3 million. Listings fell 20 per cent to 317, after two years at about 390, and sales rose eight per cent to 113, up from 105 last May.


The average selling price fell 19 per cent, however, to $279,095, after posting $346,130 last May. Year-to-date, the surrounding region has seen a three per cent decrease in dollar volume at $120 million; a three per cent drop in listings, to 1,344; and unit sales of 421, up nine per cent from last year.


As of the end of May, buyers had 3,164 listings to choose from in Saskatoon and area, unchanged from last year. Of those, 1,938 are in the city proper (down from 2,001 last May) and 1,126 are in surrounding towns and regions (down from last year’s 1,164). “We’re finally seeing some stabilization in the housing market, which has been in buyers’ market territory for some time due to oversupply and lower consumer confidence,”


Source: June 2019 SRAR News Release 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
Read full post


It can be tough to make the decision to sell. In fact, for many homeowners, it's overwhelming. If you're considering making a move and struggling with the decision, here are five helpful questions to ask yourselves:


1. "What are our practical reasons for selling?"

This question refers to what you'll get by moving to a new home. The reasons could include a bigger backyard, shorter commute to work, an extra bedroom, a more desirable neighbourhood, etc.


2. "What are our emotional reasons for selling?"

This question refers to how you'll feel about living in a new home. For example, you might feel safer, less cramped, less worried (because the local schools are better), or happier (because the shorter commute means more time with your family.)


3. "What type of new home can we afford?"

This question involves finding out how much you'll likely get when you sell your existing home and how much of a mortgage you qualify to receive. With that information, you'll have a price range within which you can comfortably shop plus a clear idea of what your mortgage payments will be.


4. "In what ways will our lifestyle be better in a new home?"

This ties in closely with emotional reasons for selling. It relates to what your life will be like in a new home. Try to paint a picture in your mind. For example, you might want to be able to spend Saturday afternoons relaxing in your bigger backyard or Sunday nights entertaining friends and family in your larger living room.


5. "What else do we need to know before we decide to sell and move?"

Sometimes people are hesitant about selling simply because they have unanswered questions. So, if there's any part of the selling and buying process that’s not clear, be sure to ask me.


Did thinking about these questions help make the decision easier? If you need more help or want to talk about your decision, call today!

Read full post



On moving day, you'll have a big task. You’ll need to get your possessions from your old property to your new one — ideally without delays or damage! Surprisingly, many people underestimate the time and costs involved in doing that. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial to ensuring moving day goes smoothly.


You basically have three options:


1. Hire a moving company to handle everything.


2. Hire a truck and crew, while doing some of the work yourself. (For example, you can pack and help with loading.)


3. Do it all yourself by renting a moving van and getting friends and family to help.


If you're going with option one, get quotations as early in the buying/selling process as possible. Services, costs and quality vary widely among full service moving companies.


If you're going to do some or all of the move yourself, the best place to start is by making a list of what you'll need. In addition to renting a moving van, or hiring a truck and crew, there are many supplies you may require. For example, you’ll need boxes, protective fill and/or wrapping (i.e. bubble wrap), markers for labeling boxes, packing tape, and more.


You may decide to rely on friends to help load the truck on moving day. That's fine. Just be sure you have enough people to do the job within a reasonable time frame, and confirm everyone's attendance at least a couple of days before.

Read full post


Imagine driving through a desirable neighbourhood and, just as you turn a corner, you see the absolutely perfect home. Guess what? It's for sale! But, there’s a problem. Your current property isn't on the market. In fact, until this moment, you hadn’t seriously considered moving.


So what do you do?


Your first step is to find out more about the listing. Get a description of the property. Find out the listing price. Check out the size, layout, number of bedrooms and other features. If it all looks good, schedule a viewing.  


Chances are, you can do all that in less than a day.  


If you go to see the property and still love it, your next step is to determine if it fits within your budget. To do that, you'll need to quickly find out the Current Market Value of your home — what it will likely sell for — so you can determine how much money you'll have available after your outstanding mortgage and any other costs are deducted. It’s a smart idea to speak to your lender about getting a pre-approved mortgage at this point too.


Next, you'll need to make an offer on the new home. Depending on the competitiveness of the neighbourhood, and the likelihood of multiple offers, you might need to list your home first. That, along with a pre-approved mortgage, will make your offer more credible.


You might end up buying the new home before your current property sells. Although that might cause some jitters, this scenario happens all the time in real estate. If you do the right things, and prepare your home properly, there's a good probability it will sell in time and that everything else regarding the two transactions will go smoothly.


But, you do need to move quickly and make some fast decisions if you want to get that perfect home.


I can help.  Call me.

Read full post


April housing demand in the Saskatoon region was the strongest in three years, as sales jumped 18 per cent over the same month of 2018.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 513 sales on the MLS® system, up from 433 last April and 414 in 2017. Those sales generated a dollar volume of $169.6 million, up 12 per cent from last year’s $152 million and 14 per cent from $147 million in 2017. Year-to-date, sales are up seven per cent to 1,440, as compared to 1,342 in 2018 and 1,368 in 2017. Dollar volume is up three per cent to $460.2 million from last year’s $447.8 million.

The spring market usually brings an increase in listings, and April followed that tradition. Listings rose four per cent to 1,295, although year-to-date listings are down slightly to 3,971 from 3,989. Compared to the 4,475 properties posted in the first four months of 2017, however, listings are down significantly.

“People came out of hibernation and said, it’s time,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “We’re seeing the beginning of a spring market, which is nice.”

Other factors potentially influencing the market include stable interest rates and lower prices, he added. “There’s less inventory and people are buying what they’re finding on the market,” Yochim said. “It’s feeling more like it’s time to make that move.”

In the city of Saskatoon, the number of properties brought to market actually fell two per cent in April to 774, down from 787 last year and significantly down from the 842 listed in April, 2017. Year-to-date, 2,511 homes have been listed, down three per cent from 2,594 in the same period of 2018. Listings in 2017 were considerably higher, at 3,024.

April sales in the city proper came in at 380, up 14 per cent from last year’s 333 and generating a 16 per cent increase in the dollar volume, to $130.4 million. That figure is up from both 2018 and 2017, when $112.7 million and $113.6 million in sales were recorded, respectively. So far this year, Saskatoon sales are up seven per cent to 1,047, up from 978 in 2018.


The average selling price in the city increased one per cent to $343,121 in April, up from $338,438 last year. Year-to-date, the price remains down by two per cent at $327,995. The region surrounding Saskatoon, including towns and cities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, saw a whopping 25 per cent increase in dollar volume to $31 million on 105 sales, up 36 per cent from 77 last year. The average price was down eight per cent to $295,780.


Active listings in Saskatoon as of April 30 were down three per cent to 1,778 from 1,834 last year, and up four per cent in the region, to 1,083.

Stronger sales activity was reflected in Saskatoon’s sales to listing ratio, which at 49 per cent is considered a balanced market. “It’s an encouraging sign,” said Yochim. “A balanced market offers a good equilibrium, with a good balance of buyers and product from sellers. Depending on how long it lasts, it helps slow the decline in pricing.”

New housing starts are down considerably, which is also affecting the market. March, for example, saw a 33 per cent drop in single-family home starts and a 70 per cent fall in multiple units. It will take some time before the rising demand spurs more building, because there is always a lag between an improvement in sales and starts, Yochim said.

Prince Albert and region also recorded improved home sales, which rose 25 per cent to 60 units, up from 48 last year. Dollar volume jumped 26 per cent to $12.2 million from $9.7 million last April. Listings were up a marginal two per cent, to 168 from 165. In the city itself, sales were up 41 per cent to 38. “That’s encouraging for P.A., because the market was quite depressed for a number of months,” Yochim said.

Activity was less robust in the Battlefords region. Sales rose 17 per cent in April to 35, up from 30 last April, but dollar volume dropped 35 per cent to $5 million from $8 million. Listings, however, fell seven per cent to 138.

Every market, including the strengthening Saskatoon market, comes with its own challenges for buyers and sellers, noted Yochim.  Source: May 2019 SRAR News Release 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
Read full post


You've probably heard the expression, "The early-bird gets the worm." It refers, of course, to those who get in early and reap the rewards. For example, if you arrive early to a retail store for a big blowout sale, you're likely to get the deals before the inventory runs out. The stragglers who come later miss out.


Well, this same wisdom can be applied to selling your home. Starting the process early — even if that means simply doing some initial planning — gives you the edge in several ways. 


First of all, you get extra time for preparation. That means you can get your home cleaned, uncluttered and staged without feeling rushed. You also get more time to find out how much your property will likely sell for on today's market. That's important information, especially if you're also looking to finance a new home.


Secondly, there's less stress. You'll have more time to make the right decisions. The last thing you want is to be scrambling around, last minute, trying to get your home ready for sale.


Finally, with your initial preparations done, you'll be able to put your home on the market at a moment's notice. That's a huge advantage that's likely to lead to selling your property more quickly and for the best price. In fact, by getting an early start on the process, you might even find that right now is the best time to list -- and you'll be able to do so, with confidence.


Want help getting an early start on selling your home? Call me.

Read full post


Imagine you’ve dreamed of living in a particular neighbourhood, perhaps for years, and then, when you're finally ready to make a move, finding out that the area is competitive and buying there is definitely a challenge.


A disappointment? Not necessarily.


There is a lot you can do to buy into a popular neighbourhood, even in competitive offer situations.


Your first step is to start targeting that area now. Find out about property types, prices and trends. In particular, you’ll need to know what price range you should be thinking about, and making sure that it’s going to fit your budget. To do that, you might need to get a determination of the Fair Market Value of your current home. 


Next, begin making preparations so you can get a jump on opportunities in that neighbourhood quickly. You don't want to see a great property come on the market and not be ready to make a move. So, get your current home in order so it’s ready for a quick listing.


If possible, make arrangements to get alerted to new listings as soon as they come on the market. Keep in mind that a new listing may not appear online for several days. By getting advance notice, you can be among the first buyers to see the home and have an early advantage over other buyers.


If it's likely there's going to be competing offers for the home you want, there are many strategies that can increase your chances of winning. These involve going in at the right price, minimizing conditions to the offer, presenting the offer appropriately, and negotiating effectively.


Is there a neighbourhood you want to get into? I can help make it happen. Call today.

Read full post


After a fairly strong February, the city of Saskatoon’s March housing market had spring in its step as both new listings and sales rose over last year, by five and 11 per cent respectively.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 702 listings were posted to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 668 last March, but significantly down from 850 in 2017.

Sales jumped 11 per cent to 258, up from 233 last year but down from 308 in March 2017. At the same time, the average selling price dropped four 
per cent to $316,445, down from just over $328,000 a year earlier, partly due to a higher proportion of entry-level home sales below $400,000. There was also a significant decrease in the number of sales recorded between $400,000 and $450,000.  Even so, the dollar volume of homes sold increased seven per cent to just over $81.6 million, up from $76.5 million a year earlier.

“We’re coming into the spring market, and the degradation of prices over the last three year has made it a little more attractive out there. People do get a little bit more optimistic in the spring,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR.

“Some of that optimism may have sprung from the federal government’s recent policy announcement regarding changes to home buyers’ plan, which provides five per cent interest-free loan on existing homes, and 10 per cent on new homes, to first-time buyers. Our industry has been lobbying for changes such as this for a long time.”
 
The Saskatoon Region, which includes smaller communities in the Census Metropolitan Area, saw a five per cent increase in listings, to 1,084 (up from 1,034 in 2017) and a four per cent increase in monthly sales, to 359 (up from 345). Listings generally begin to trend upward as March, and spring, approach.
 
Excluding Saskatoon, regional listings were flat with last March and sales fell nine per cent to 77, down from 85. The selling price dropped 12 per cent to $275,000. In 2019 so far, Saskatoon and region listings, taken together, are down two per cent to 2,675, 1,736 of those in the city proper. Sales are up two per cent to 929, up from 909 in 2018, and dollar volume has fallen one per cent to $213 million, down from $215.5 million. Active listings sat at 3,184 at the end of March, down one per cent, with 1,611 of those in Saskatoon, down four per cent.

While the 2019 market has been kinder to home sellers than in the last three years, it remains important to price properties appropriately to present conditions, said Yochim. The sales to listings ratio was 37 per cent in March, which still signifies a buyers’ market.
 
“Home sellers, not to mention buyers, can benefit from the knowledge a REALTOR® brings to a housing transaction. REALTORS® know how to help a seller arrive at a realistic price, and they are also professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics. They can guide sellers, and buyers, through the process, and help them make the best decisions.”

Source: April 2019 SRAR News Release 
 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
Read full post


Imagine going to a restaurant with your family for dinner. You're planning on ordering a nice pasta and salad. Your heart is set on it. But, after you go to the trouble of driving there and getting a table, you discover that pasta is not on the menu.


That’s disappointing!


Of course, it’s only a meal. You can go somewhere else next time. But, what if the same scenario played out once you had moved into a new neighborhood? Imagine you were counting on public transit being in easy walking distance, but discovered the nearest stop is four blocks away. Argh!


That's why it's important to ensure a neighborhood has the characteristics you want — before you make an offer on a home you like.


Think about what you want most in a neighborhood. Consider work, commuting, schools, playgrounds, noise level, walking and cycling, hobbies, shopping, entertainment, etc.


If there is a neighborhood feature that is very important to you, check it out for yourself. For example, if easy access to a main highway is desirable for commuting, take the route for a test drive.


You can get a lot of information on a neighborhood through the listed property's description and MLS listing.


Want more in-depth insights into an area you're considering? I have that information. Call today.

Read full post
The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRAR's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®.
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.